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News from the Health & Care Sector

New Qualifications: Clinical Skills

IQ have three new specialist awards available for the Health & Social Care sector.


The following qualifications are now available to IQ centres:



Each of these awards consists of a single mandatory unit and range from 21 - 28 guided learning hours.

As the population ages and health work is increasingly undertaken within care homes and other domiciliary settings there is a growing need for specialist procedures to be carried out by trained care workers and support staff. These qualifications help fulfil that need by giving formal recognition of  a learner's knowledge of the relevant theory, practical and professional requirements required to carry out these procedures under supervision. 


Commenting on the new qualifications, Mathew Casey from IQ Centre Beacon Education said, “When dealing with the complex and life threatening issues faced by health and social care workers in their every day jobs, it is imperative that they are armed with the necessary skills to ensure the highest standards of care possible. IQ’s new suite of Clinical Skills awards will provide specialist training in three of the most fundamentally important areas of care today, thus providing the skills to provide the highest degree of care possible.”

For more information on offering these awards please use the links above or get in touch.

Dec 19, 2014 10:02 AM

Development Spotlight Special

As September marks the start of the new academic year, we thought it was a fitting occasion to take a look at a host of developments that IQ has planned for the coming months, including qualifications in a brand new sector, in a special edition of development spotlight.

Before we begin, please note that these plans are yet to be finalised and qualification titles or contents may be subject to change.

The Health & Social Care sector is set to be bolstered with the addition of a number of smaller awards and certificates, which will complement our core healthcare provision (such as the two apprenticeships).

These include:

  • The IQ Level 2 Award in the Prevention and Control of Infection
  • The IQ Level 2 Award in Moving People Safely
  • The IQ Level 2 Award in Awareness of Dementia
  • The IQ Level 2 Certificate in Understanding the Safe Handling of Medicines
  • The IQ Level 3 Certificate in the Principles of End of Life Care

When choosing which qualifications to develop we always look at the needs of our centres and of the wider market in general and react accordingly. With the number of old and very old people continuing to rise in the UK, there is an urgent need for rigorous training in both dementia and end of life care. Similarly, infection control, moving people safely and the safe handling of medicines are all vital skills in a care setting and IQ will soon be able to meet the demand for this training.

As for the second sector, IQ is pleased to reveal that we are currently developing a number of qualifications in Hair & Beauty.

These include:

  • IQ Level 1 Certificate in an Introduction to the Hair & Beauty Sector
  • IQ Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Hairdressing
  • IQ Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Hairdressing
  • IQ Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy
  • IQ Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Beauty Therapy

Having already developed a number of customised awards for centres in the beauty sector, IQ are well positioned to start offering these national qualifications and apprenticeships and bring our unique operating model and approach to this well-established sector.

In order to gain approval to develop these qualifications from Ofqual, the qualifications regulator, we have to give evidence of centre support. Therefore if you would like to see these qualifications made available then please help us by writing a letter of support.

Finally, please note that the above qualifications do not represent the extent of IQ developments and we will continue to expand our offering in other sectors over the coming months. In the meantime if you have a suggestion for a qualification you would like to see developed then please let us know.

Sep 04, 2013 11:49 AM

Call for New Minimum Training Standards for Healthcare Workers

An independent review set up in response to the Stafford Hospital scandal has called for the introduction of new minimum training standards for Healthcare assistants before they can work unsupervised.


The Cavendish Review found that there is currently no minimum training that care workers must receive before they can start work and that this could be adversely affecting patient care. In some cases workers were reportedly only given a one hour training DVD to watch at home before starting to care for patients, which could lead to procedures being carried out incorrectly.

The lack of a consistent training programme is particularly worrying at a time when Healthcare assistants are increasingly carrying out invasive tasks that used to be the sole preserve of doctors and nurses, such as drawing blood, or fitting catheters. One Healthcare assistant interviewed by the BBC stated that staff are put in a "very difficult position" when they are asked to carry out procedures that they are not qualified to do.

Camilla Cavendish, a journalist who was tasked with carrying out the review, suggested that in future all Healthcare Assistants should have to earn a new qualification before being allowed to practice, which she called a “Certificate of Fundamental Care”. Whilst details of the proposed qualification’s content have not been established, Ms Cavendish suggested that it would involve basic duties such as first aid, health and safety and the prevention of infections and take “a couple of weeks”. Current Healthcare workers would need to prove they already had the equivalent knowledge in order to continue practicing.

Although the Minister for Health, Jeremy Hunt, today welcomed the review’s findings, he rejected calls for a system of regulation for the industry, suggesting it could become “a bureaucratic nightmare”. The Government will issue a formal response to the review by autumn and has renewed its promise to have minimum training standards for Healthcare Assistants in place by spring 2014.

IQ will continue to monitor developments in this story. In the meantime we currently offer a number of qualifications for those looking to enter the care sector; you can read more about them here.

Jul 10, 2013 01:05 PM

New Training Programme for Healthcare Security Officers

Industry Qualifications, the first pan-sector mutual awarding organisation in the UK, has today announced the accreditation of the IQ Level 2 Industry Award in Healthcare Security (Top Up).

The ‘Top Up’ qualification is the first of a suite of three that will together create a new benchmark training standard for Healthcare Security Officers and answer the need for nationally approved training specific to the role.

The 'Top Up' programme has been designed to avoid expensive overlap of training, offering those who are already SIA qualified to 'up-skill' to the new training standard without having to undertake the ‘Full’ programme.

The 'Full’ programme for Healthcare Security Officers will incorporate the ‘Top Up’ training and also meet the criteria set by the SIA for Security Guarding and Door Supervision licence linked training, bringing it in-line with existing recognised occupational standards.

The ‘Full’ programme includes optional training in protective breakaway skills, physical intervention skills (holding, escorting & disengagement) and physical restraint (on a bed, a trolley and on the floor). The physical intervention training will equip Healthcare Security Officers with the practical skills needed to carry out Criminal Justice and Immigration Act (CJIA) role responsibilities and ensure appropriate use of their powers.

The new qualification is endorsed by the National Association for Healthcare Security (NAHS). Chairman Peter Finch, welcoming the qualification, said

“We are delighted to have been involved with the development of this training package. Our security officers are our 24/7 eyes and ears on the ground and it is essential that they are appropriately trained to protect our facilities and staff from terrorism and other crime. This qualification will go some way towards achieving that aim.”

Richard Hampton of NHS Protect added:

“The scope of the new 'Top Up' programme highlights the knowledge and professional capabilities currently required of Healthcare Security Officers.  I hope the training contributes to making their work safer.”

Programme creator, Jim O’Dwyer of AEGIS said:

“The new ‘Top Up’ training comprehensively reflects the complexity and diversity of a Healthcare Security Officer role and the broad range of security tasks, duties and responsibilities it entails. I am very grateful to all the NAHS officials who contributed and I’m looking forward to the ‘roll out’ of the Full programme.”

Head of Business Development of Industry Qualifications, Sallyann Baldry said:

“The introduction of qualifications to improve standards, with a real focus on patient-centred practice which will reduce the risk of assault for those working in healthcare is to be welcomed.

“There is an ever increasing need to recognise the skills and knowledge of professionals working within the healthcare community, which often goes unrewarded and IQ is delighted to be at the forefront of supporting the continuing professional development needs of over 15,000 security personnel in healthcare settings from acute, mental and general hospitals to nursing, residential and day care establishments.”

Further information for editors :

AEGIS Skills Ltd is a training and consultancy company with established expertise in developing and delivering professional training for those working in the security and care sectors and a strong track record of supplying ‘fit for purpose’ training that equips delegates with the knowledge and skills they need to perform their role safely, ethically and professionally.

Contact: Jim O’Dwyer
AEGIS Skills Ltd, Suite 2 Camelot, 6 Watkin Rd, Bournemouth BH5 1HP
T: 01202 773 736 E:

The National Association for Healthcare Security (NAHS)

The National Association for Healthcare Security (NAHS) is a non-profit making professional organisation of Healthcare Managers in the United Kingdom, who are responsible for security. The NAHS works to improve security in healthcare facilities through training and the exchange of information and experiences. The NAHS, as a stakeholder in healthcare security, aims to support the NHS Security Management Service (SMS) as it develops the strategic direction and development of NHS healthcare security.

Contact: Peter Finch CSyP CPP, FSyI FInstLM MCMI MIEM
Trust Security Adviser & Local Security Management Specialist (0025)
Sandwell & West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust City Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham, B18 7QH
Tel:  0121 507 4870

NHS Protect

NHS Protect is the operating name of the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service. NHS Protect provides policy and operational guidance relating to the management of security within the NHS in England. It strives to ensure permanent improvements are made to provide the best protection for NHS staff and property.

Contact: Richard Hampton, Head of Local Support and Development Services, NHS Protect.
Tel: 0207 895 4500

Nov 20, 2012 04:01 PM